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- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)
Monday, June 15, 2015
“Smear the queer” - Attacks on a Gay Republican candidate
Attacks on San Diego's DeMaio Were Lies
One of the latest weapons against candidates are last minute unprovable charges of "sexual harrassment".
(The Daily Beast) - After a ‘Smear the queer’ campaign, an openly gay Republican says ‘Bye, Felicia’ to politics.
“Smear the queer” is how former Republican candidate Carl DeMaio describes the effort that ended congressional ambitions.
He’s still not over it.
Seven months ago DeMaio conceded to Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), ending a nasty campaign for California’s 52nd congressional district representing San Diego. It was a campaign filled with accusations from a former aide of alleged sexual misconduct—charges that hobbled his campaign in its final weeks.
Last week, Todd Bosnich, the former aide, admitted to manufacturing emails he used to support his claim that DeMaio sexually harassed him, and plead guilty to obstruction of justice.
The admission was a cold comfort to DeMaio.
“The impact this has had on my family, it was very rough,” DeMaio told The Daily Beast in an interview. “But I’m very please to see at least some level of justice delivered with these charges.”
“You can’t go back and have a do-over on an election,” he said. “That’s just not how the system works and I get that. “
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t still angry.
He’s angry about how his opponent used tactics he describes as a cynical ploy to scare away conservative voters by making them uncomfortable with the fact DeMaio is gay.
“It absolutely was generated to go after our conservatives voters,” DeMaio said. “What [Peters] needed to do was not go to the middle, he needed to try to dissuade far right voters, older voters, social conservative voters, from voting for the gay guy.”
DeMaio said conservative voters were willing to overlook the fact he was gay, if there wasn’t an “ick factor,” which is why, he said, one was created.
“You can be gay, but you can’t be one of those gays,” he said. “And that’s why this allegation was so vicious, so disgusting and so harmful. Because Mr. Peters played on the notion of ‘Oh, he’s a sexual deviant.’ … That’s why this was frustrating.”
Peters, in an interview, denied having anything to do with the allegations and said DeMaio was still refusing to take responsibility for his actions.
“What he’s saying is entirely untrue,” Peters told The Daily Beast. “The authorities did not make any opinion on whether Mr. Bosnich’s sexual harassment [allegations] were true or false.”
DeMaio said the stigma of being an openly gay Republican still remains, but it’s a glass ceiling for someone else to crack.
“The challenge of being a gay Republican, not supported by the gay community, they don’t like the fact that you are Republican,” he said. “That’s the ultimate betrayal, is being a Republican.”
“If I were a gay Democrat and a Republican tried doing what Scott Peters did to me, there would be rioting in the streets in the middle of the election,” he said. “But it’s ok to do it to a Republican because, you know, we really don’t want you to break through that glass ceiling. And so that was very challenging.”